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Tina Fey goes to war; Judy Hopps goes to Zootopia and cultures clash in the Amazon

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In this story, based on a real disaster many years ago, an unstable mountain causes the catastrophe. It’s above a tourist town called Geiranger and has an internal fissure that a government early warning centre is monitoring. Sensors in a crevasse detect an annual expansion of about 15 centimeters. A geologist (Kristoffer Joner), on the very day he’s to leave for another job, senses something bigger is happening. When it comes, bringing a huge wall of water, power outages and a traffic jam of people trying to get away, you’ll be on the edge. The tension builds inexorably up to the deluge. As the wave comes crashing in, the geologist has to find his family. The director, Roar Uthaug, expertly choreographs the action and the suspense. Hollywood has already snapped him up for a film. This one says Norway has 300 unstable mountainsides. Make you wonder about BC.  (VanCity Theatre) 3 ½  out of 5

LONDON HAS FALLEN: Even today, you don’t see many movies as relentless as this. There’s more spraying of machine gun bullets than most any gangster or even war movie. There are car chases, swarms of motorcycles coming at you, helicopter explosions, iconic buildings demolished (not the gherkin, though) and a lot of running through the streets, subway tunnels and alleys. Now if only the story was intelligent, not ridiculous as this.

 

Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart are back from their surprise 2013 hit Olympus Has Fallen in which Butler, as a secret service agent, rescued Eckhart, as the U.S. president, from Korean kidnappers. Now they’re off to London for a state funeral, along with dozens of other world leaders including Canada’s prime minister here named Robert Bowman. At St. Paul’s Cathedral guys dressed as police suddenly start shooting at them. Bowman’s car is blown up. Somebody is trying kill them all, but mainly the US leader. That’s because his drone jockeys in Nevada had blown up a wedding in Pakistan and killed the daughter of an arms dealer and terrorist. We get an hour and a half of retaliation.  Also back are Morgan Freeman as the vice president and Angela Bassett as the head of the secret service. We get some really heavy violence and some ripe dialogue including this U.S. boast: “A thousand years from now we’ll still be here.” (Gateway, Scotiabank and suburban theatres)  2 out of 5

THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMPSON: This is a fairly engrossing comedy directed by and starring Robert Carlyle as a malcontent barber and stolen by Emma Thompson as his brassy, crass and outrageous mother. She’s hilarious in a film that’s generally only amusing. Fans of Scottish films like Trainspotting and Shallow Grave will recognize the mordant humor that seems to flourish in that country. This is from a popular novel by Douglas Lindsay and set in Glasgow although, as a co-production with Canada, a bit of it was filmed here. 

 

Carlyle as Barney is so morose at work as a barber that nobody wants him to cut their hair. The boss is about to fire him but in a tussle Barney accidentally stabs him dead. Bad move, not least because there’s a serial killer about mailing body parts to the police. Naturally he comes under suspicion. Mom helps with an off-the-wall solution, probably just to speed things up so she can get to her bingo night. Ray Winstone  intimidates as the investigating cop, Tom Courtenay, oddly foul mouthed is the police chief and Ashley Jensen is the  imperious supervisor who insists “this is not a barber-based crime.” But Barney is clumsy and kills a second guy.  Worse he’s got a friend with a habit of showing up at just the wrong time and catching hints of what he’s doing. Director Carlyle’s comedy ranges from droll to noisy to broad and stumbling. (International Village) 2 ½ out of 5   

Carlyle as Barney is so morose at work as a barber that nobody wants him to cut their hair. The boss is about to fire him but in a tussle Barney accidentally stabs him dead. Bad move, not least because there’s a serial killer about mailing body parts to the police. Naturally he comes under suspicion. Mom helps with an off-the-wall solution, probably just to speed things up so she can get to her bingo night. Ray Winstone  intimidates as the investigating cop, Tom Courtenay, oddly foul mouthed is the police chief and Ashley Jensen is the  imperious supervisor who insists “this is not a barber-based crime.” But Barney is clumsy and kills a second guy.  Worse he’s got a friend with a habit of showing up at just the wrong time and catching hints of what he’s doing. Director Carlyle’s comedy ranges from droll to noisy to broad and stumbling. (International Village) 2 ½ out of 5   

More in New Movies

Melissa’s forgeries, Rami’s dead-on Freddie Mercury and a cult classic re-imagined

Also: a bit of opera (real with Maria Callas and fictional in Bel Canto) and an ode to BC’s chief geographical feature in This Mountain Life

A touching drama about dementia, a daredevil rock climb and another 007 spoof

Also a teen’s life lessons from skateboarders and a cold war anachronism with submarines
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